TCA wraps up a year of change
A MERRY and peaceful Christmas to readers from all at Timber Communities Australia.
As thoughts will soon turn to Santa and the chance to put one’s feet up, switch off the phone and relax over New Year, we can look back on a year of genuine milestones achieved for TCA.
At the top of the tree – will be a newly appointed Board, endorsed by members at the November AGM, ready to set and pursue a new set of priorities in 2015 under the new Constitution.
A new communications agenda is a high priority for TCA to support grassroots community members in their local activities. The carbon friendly qualities of timber are unrivalled. Our starting point for developing TCA’s new public messaging is that timber must play a pivotal role in reducing carbon emissions, not only through the dynamic natural growing cycle of trees in sustainably managed forests and plantations but also through the harvest and utilisation of timber products which continue to store carbon for life. These facts are well accepted within timber related communities but are clearly not well understood in the wider community – especially in urban populations which heavily
TCA members understand that a vibrant local community depends upon a dual base of a healthy surrounding landscape (environment) and a healthy local economy.
In common with some other organisations in the sector, TCA is looking at how it can help to educate the public with messages that long term protection and enhancement of precious ecological and cultural values within forests can co-exist with sensible utilisation of timber products.
TCA is an interface between local communities and industry. It’s worth getting back to basics for a moment to remind ourselves why it makes sense for commercial operators to build relationships and have a good reputation in the local communities where they operate. Any smart business knows that communities are astute judges of what is genuine good citizenship.
At grassroots level people are up close and see the truth of how things operate – they know what is spin and what is real. They know whether there is integrity in how companies go about their business or when lip service is paid to doing the right thing. They know whether management is fair and whether bills are paid on time and staff and local suppliers are respected. They see up close whether environmental and employment practices are best practice.
TCA grassroots members have high expectations of commercial operators in the industry and TCA provides companies with an access point to community leaders in different parts of Australia. We welcome approaches from companies who seek to improve their own local engagement practices and our members can refer them to successful examples.
It is stating the obvious that commercial operators have a responsibility to respect the local communities in which they operate. In many cases company and community are deeply linked – with staff and suppliers and customers living in the surrounding local communities. Those linkages provide an incentive to do the right thing and failing to do the right thing burns up community goodwill that won’t be won back in a hurry, if at all.
The old adage ‘from little things big things grow’ is a nice note to end the year on. Communities all have their own nature, they all differ and business.
Special thanks are extended to the Sponsor Members who contributed that leap of faith TCA would no longer exist. Now TCA grassroots members have a far more inclusive and democratic say in the direction of TCA under the new Constitution passed in 2014. That has to be a good Christmas present - Merry Christmas to all.